Activities of Special Police and Guard Forces in the District of Columbia Can Be Improved

GGD-78-16: Published: Oct 4, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 1978.

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Since 1789, a number of federal and District of Columbia agencies have been authorized by the Congress to establish special police or guard forces; in fiscal year (FY) 1977, the federal government had 11 forces and the District had 4 forces. These forces, consisting of about 2,800 officers, are independently adminstered by 14 federal or District agencies. In FY 1977, it cost the forces about $48 million, including administrative costs which were not readily identifiable, to provide security for 498 buildings either leased or owned by the federal or District governments.

Significant differences exist among the agencies in such matters as security of facilities, qualification for employment, training, and salaries. However, security responsibilities and duties are mostly the same. Each force has established certain administrative functions which have resulted in uneconomical and inefficient practices. Standardization of activities and some force consolidation may be possible, but because of Home Rule, consolidation of federal security forces should not include District government forces. Consolidation is a matter for the Congress to decide.

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